Can you tell me about the blood imagery in Hamlet?
Blood is not really one of the primary
motifs in Hamlet, as it is in Macbeth. Rather imagery of disease and rot permeate the play. Here are but a few examples:
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. (1.4.100)
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. (3.4.151)
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. (1.2.135)
Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased: but, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command;
or, rather, as you say, my mother: therefore no
more, but to the matter: my mother, you say, -- (3.2.315)
If the imagery in Hamlet interests you, the book you want to read is Shakespeare's Imagery and What it Tells Us, by Caroline Spurgeon.
How does the "poor Yorick" speech fit in with the rest of Hamlet?
Hamlet's depression prompts him to discuss death and
nothingness whenever possible. Seeing the skull of the
court jester that he so fondly remembered just reminds
Hamlet further of how "the dust is earth" and how we will soon be mixed with that earth in our graves. Even "Imperial Caesar" turns to dust in the end.
Do you pronounce the "s" in Fortinbras?
Yes, you do pronounce the "s" at the end. Please see Shakespeare's Characters A to Z for a comprehensive pronunciation guide to all the names in the plays.
How would you describe the revenge code in the play?
The code of revenge is what causes Hamlet most of his grief. The revenge code -- the basis of all revenge plays -- is the set of rules or principles that make it necessary for one of the characters in the play to seek retribution and avenge an evil through a series of bloody acts. Hamlet's soliloquy in Act 4 is his final contemplation of this revenge code that has troubled him so throughout the play.
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Hamlet Questions and Answers. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/faq/hamletfaq.html >.
Hamlet: Problem Play and Revenge Tragedy
The Elder Hamlet: The Kingship of Hamlet's Father
Hamlet's Relationship with the Ghost
The Significance of the Ghost in Armor
Hamlet as National Hero
Claudius and the Condition of Denmark
The Charges Against King Claudius
The Death of Polonius and its Impact on Hamlet's Character
Revenge in Hamlet
Deception in Hamlet
The Hamlet and Ophelia Subplot
The Norway (Fortinbras) Subplot
Blank Verse and Diction in Shakespeare's Hamlet
Analysis of the Characters in Hamlet
An Excuse for Doing Nothing: Hamlet's Delay
Shakespeare's Fools: The Grave-Diggers in Hamlet
Hamlet's Humor: The Wit of Shakespeare's Prince of Denmark
All About Yorick
Hamlet's Melancholy: The Transformation of the Prince
Hamlet's Antic Disposition: Is Hamlet's Madness Real?
Foul Deeds Will Rise: Hamlet and Divine Justice
Soliloquy Analysis: O this too too... (1.2.131)
Soliloquy Analysis: O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!... (2.2.555-612)
Analysis: To be, or not to be... (3.1.64-98)
Soliloquy Analysis: Tis now the very witching time of night... (3.2.380-91)
Soliloquy Analysis: Now might I do it pat... (3.3.77-100)
Soliloquy Analysis: How all occasions do inform against me... (4.4.35-69)
What is Tragic Irony?
Seneca's Tragedies and the Elizabethan Drama
Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama
Sources for Hamlet
Quotations from Hamlet (with commentary)
Hamlet Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
Hamlet: Q & A